Discover the wonderful marine world around Key West. The island offers many opportunities for sea lovers: a great marine ecosystem for water activities.
Located in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, Key West offers a tropical environment easily accessible from the Florida peninsula. Join a sailboat tour to the reef, enjoy the ocean sunset from a cruise or dive to discover the underwater world! Boat tours from Key West offer any opportunity!
What are the best boat tours from Key West?
Sunset Party Catamaran Cruise in Key West
A Key West vacation isn't complete without enjoying a spectacular sunset over the ocean. The best way is clearly seeing it from a boat.
Take advantage of a boat tour to reach the open sea and enjoy the show. This catamaran tour also includes all the elements for a good party on board: live music, champagne and snacks. Among the dishes available, there are fresh vegetables, assorted cheeses, rolls and pancakes, as well as beer, wine, champagne and margaritas. Enjoy this beautiful evening at sunset!
Half-day boat tour with snorkeling and kayaking
Key West is renowned for the beauty of the underwater world that surrounds the island. Set sail for T'ing Island, a wild island off the coast of Key West. Once there, you can go kayaking to the most interesting points, along water channels surrounded by mangroves. The tour continues reaching the coral reef, where you can dive and do snorkeling and see over 600 species of animals that live there.
The boat tour also includes snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks. The boat excursion lasts approximately 4 and a half hours and departs twice a day.
If you are interested in snorkeling, check out all the offers of snorkeling in Key West.
Key West Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Cruise
Go in search of dolphins on this boat tour from Key West. Many species of dolphins are common in the seas around Key West and are approached by boats. You will see dolphins swimming under the boat and playing with each other.
Afterward, you will reach the waters of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, which, with its shallow waters, offers a perfect environment for snorkeling. Admire the underwater world and the hundreds of species that live in that environment.
Soft drinks and snorkeling equipment are included in the tour price.
Day Trip by Catamaran to Dry Tortugas National Park
Set sail to discover the Dry Tortugas National Park, the archipelago of islands to the west of the Florida Keys. The tour begins with the ride on the Yankee Freedom III catamaran, which connects Key West to Fort Jefferson, a massive fort built on the largest island of the Dry Tortugas.
On the catamaran trip, enjoy the seascape as you cruise to other islands in the Florida Keys, such as Boca Grande Key and the Marquesas Keys, as you enjoy the breakfast provided on the boat. Your guide will tell you about Dry Tortugas National Park's history and other information about the park's marine ecosystem.
Once in Fort Jefferson, you can visit the fort on a 45-minute tour. Afterward, you will have plenty of free time to explore the island's tropical landscape, including golden beaches and crystal clear sea for snorkeling. There is a coral reef with a great variety of fish around the island, and it is the ideal place for snorkeling.
The tour includes a buffet lunch on the boat, as well as snorkeling equipment and the national park entrance fee ($ 15).
Adults Only Sunset Cruise with Champagne Party from Key West
This sunset cruise from Key West is specially designed for an adult audience. The atmosphere is intimate and the number of passengers is limited to 14 people.
The cruise includes champagne, red and white wines, beers and soft drinks, as well as a cheese buffet to be enjoyed with drinks. Some bottles of fine champagne, such as Moët et Chandon, are available for purchase.
Enjoy the best sunset over the sea from Key West on this 2-hour cruise.
Private Half-Day Sailing Charter from Key West with Snorkeling
If you are looking for a private and customizable sailing experience, this is the tour for you. Rent a sailing yacht that includes the skipper for you and your group and enjoy a half-day at sea. The boat includes snorkeling equipment as well as food and drinks for lunch.
Full-Day Extreme Adventure in Key West: Sailing and Water Sports
Key West is the ideal location for many water sports. If you stay a short time on the island, you can think about packing all the water activities into one day.
Set sail on a catamaran for a full day, with all the equipment for various water sports: you can go snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing or ride in WaveRunner. The price includes all activities for a full day in addition to breakfast and lunch on the boat.
Glass-bottom Boat Sunset Cruise and Coral Reef Tour
Combine two classic Key West boat tours: the Sunset Cruise and the Reef Glass-Bottom Boat Tour.
Cruise the tropical waters of Key West until you reach the coral reef. The catamaran has a section where the hull has a glass window at the bottom. You will be able to see through the crystal clear water and observe the life of North America's only coral reef. Hear explanations from the captain and learn more about the delicate ecosystem life of a coral reef.
Afterward, go to the boat deck to admire the sunset and the sky that is painted in red and orange colors. The sunset over the sea will close this fantastic boat excursion.
Eco-Safari by speedboat with snorkeling
With this experience, you will drive a mini speedboat to reach the islands of the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary. With your small boat, you will be able to enter the dense canals of mangroves and discover the wilderness. Finally, you will be able to dive onto the coral reef and admire the life of the tropical fauna in the marine ecosystem.
Key West Sunset Dinner Cruise with Tropical Buffet
Choose this sunset cruise if you want to combine the charm of the ocean sunset with a gourmet dinner served on the boat. Savor the buffet with tropical food and cocktails and drinks included as you watch the sun turning the sky into a colorful painting. Live music will brighten the atmosphere on the boat for a pleasant dinner.
Key West Private Boat Tour in the Morning
Set sail for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary on this private boat tour. Head to the coral reef to snorkel. You will see an abundance of animals living in their natural habitat, such as tropical fish, sea turtles and starfish. You can also stop on the beach of a desert island to enjoy the sun and take a paddleboard ride! The captain of the boat will be available for all your requests.
What are the best places to visit on a boat tour from Key West?
Key West National Wildlife Refuge
The Key West National Wildlife Refuge is a part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, where uninhabited wild islands are surrounded by the only remaining coral reefs in North America. Many boat tours head to this area as it is possible to get over the coral reefs and do snorkeling. The area is very close to Key West and can be reached within a few minutes by boat.
Boat tours that include a kayaking excursion head to 'Ting Island, which is covered in mangroves that create many channels with a perfect environment for kayaking. Other famous islands are the Marquesas Keys and Boca Grande Key.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is located approximately 68 miles from Key West and is the westernmost part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The park is made up of an archipelago of islands and can only be reached by boat or seaplane. The park is a great place to snorkel, as there is abundant marine life around the coral reefs near the islands.
What types of boat tours are available in Key West?
Group boat tour
Many Key West boat tours are small group tours. The boats are often medium in size and accommodate around 10-15 passengers per tour. Therefore, even if on a group boat tour you will be together with other participants, the number of people is not very high and the activity takes place in relative peace.
Private boat tours
If your group is large or you are looking for a more private and customizable experience, private boat tours are what you need. Many private tours are conducted on a sailing boat and include snorkeling equipment and the possibility to decide which areas to visit and which places to stop for swimming.
How much do the boat tours cost from Key West?
The prices of the boat tours from Key West vary considerably depending on the activity and the tour operator:
- Sunset cruises cost between $ 45 and $ 80.
- Dolphin watching boat tours cost approximately $ 70 per person.
- Private sailing tours cost between $ 500 and $ 1000 per group, depending on the duration of the tour.
- T'ing Island sailing excursions with kayaking and snorkeling cost around $ 120.
- Catamaran trips to Dry Tortugas National Park cost around $ 190.
What other water activities can I do in Key West?
Key West offers a perfect year-round environment for water activities. The tropical climate allows you to enjoy sea activities all year round. In addition to sunset cruises and sailing tours, the must-see water activities are definitely snorkeling, kayaking, dolphin watching and jet ski tours. Also, don't miss the chance to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park, which offers an incredible environment for snorkeling.
Where do boat trips from Key West start?
All boat tours depart from the harbor area. Depending on the tour operator, there are different departure points: sometimes, you will have to go to the tour operator's office while sometimes directly to the boat departure dock. However, all tours depart from the Cruise Piers (Front Street) areas or the Key West Bight Marina.
What is the duration of a boat tour from Key West?
The duration of cruises and boat tours from Key West depends on the type of tour.
- Sunset cruises last approximately 2 hours.
- The kayaking and snorkeling boat tours last half a day, ranging from 4.5 to 6 hours.
- Dolphin watching and sunset boat tours last approximately 3 hours.
- Boat trips to Dry Tortugas National Park last a full day, approximately 10 hours.
When is the best time for a boat tour from Key West?
Key West's climate is tropical humid and temperatures are relatively high all year round. During the winter, the daily temperature rarely drops below 70 °F, while in the summer, it always stays above 80 °F. Therefore, it is possible to enjoy a boat tour all year round.
The wettest months are August and September. The most touristic months are the winter ones. If you are looking for quietness, the best time to visit Key West is spring, between March and May.
Here are some travel tips to make the most of your boat tour.
- Remember to bring sunscreen. On a boat in Key West, the solar radiation is extreme.
- Go to the departure point of the boat tour at least half an hour in advance.
- Book the boat tour as soon as possible. Each boat can accommodate quite a small number of passengers.
- Take with you all the desire to have fun!